BSU's Moncrief: Idaho GOP closed primary failed to stop crossover voting, if it was occurring at all

Political scientist Gary Moncrief has analyzed results from Idaho's first-ever closed primary and says the early evidence suggests it failed to achieve the Republican Party's aim -- to keep Democrats and independents from influencing nominees for the general election.

Moncrief, a University Distinguished Professor at Boise State, compared Tuesday's turnout in the Republican and Democratic primaries to the same figures in the three past presidential elections.

The plan to limit the primary to "real" Republicans appears to have failed, said Moncrief, who added that more data is necessary to draw a firm conclusion.

Rather than depressing the proportion of ballots cast on the GOP side by requiring party affiliation to vote, the GOP boosted its share of the vote.

"This is just one example from one year, and we will need multiple data points to truly test the 'raiding' hypothesis," wrote Moncrief in an email. "But this initial test shows no support for the notion that much crossover voting was occurring--or that the closing of the primary discouraged such raiding if indeed it was occurring previously."

Moncrief adjusted for population change to establish turnout as a percentage of population. His table follows, along with his entire email:

Year....Pop......Votes cast....% Pop...Dem.....GOP.....%GOP

2000...1,293,262....178,841....13.8....30,597....148,244...82.9

2004...1,393,262....144,284....10.4....25,741....119,360...82.3

2008...1,523,816....162,674....10.7....36,101....126,573...77.8

2012...1,584,985....167,366....10.6....22,594....144,772...86.5

Writes Moncrief:

"In an effort to shed a little objective light on the discussion about the primary, I offer the attached table. For the calculations, I used the total vote for CD1 and CD2 for presidential years. I could not find 2012 registration figures, so I show the total vote as a percent of state population (which has been virtually the same in the last few presidential year primaries (around 10% of state population).

"But the important figures are the percent of people voting in the Republican primary compared to the Democratic primary. If the claim that Democrats have been raiding the GOP primary is true, then we should expect that the GOP percent of the total vote should DECLINE this year (since the Dems and unaffiliated voters would be banned from voting in the GOP primary.

"Since only 'real' Republicans can vote in the GOP primary, this should represent a smaller percentage relative to the total vote). As you can see, that is not the case. In fact, the percentage INCREASED. This is just one example from one year, and we will need multiple data points to truly test the 'raiding' hypothesis. But this initial test shows no support for the notion that much crossover voting was occurring--or that the closing of the primary discouraged such raiding if indeed it was occurring previously."

On Wednesday, GOP Chairman Norm Semanko compared the turnout in 2012 -- which Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says is a record low of 23 percent -- and pronounced the new law a success because more Republicans voted in the 2012 primary than in 2008.

But Ysursa, and his fellow Republican, Gov. Butch Otter, say the historical low in turnout suggests the GOP should reconsider opening the primary to non-Republicans at the party's state convention next month.

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1337355140 BSU's Moncrief: Idaho GOP closed primary failed to stop crossover voting, if it was occurring at all Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

huh?

Does his chart show that it's a record GOP turnout in this election? I thought turnout was down. Please explain.

Turnout was down; Moncrief's chart uses a different measure

The Secretary of State's office principally measures turnout as a percentage of registered voters. As Moncrief notes in the posting, he didn't have that figure available for 2012 (it won't be known until the May 30 canvas of votes).

Instead, he used population figures from the US Census Bureau.

As we've reported, turnout among registered voters is estimated by Secretary of State Ysursa at 23 percent, which, if confirmed on May 30, would be the lowest turnout in state history. The previous record was 1988, when 25 percent of registered voters turned out.

To see historic charts: http://www.sos.idaho.gov/ELECT/VoterReg/Vtrrghst.htm

There, you'll find another measure some prefer: turnout as a percentage of voting-age population. Idaho's record low by that measure through 2010 is 16.7 percent in 2008.

Dan Popkey

oh, total turnout was down

GOP turnout was up, Democrat turnout way down, so a net decline because the steep democrat decline offset the republican gains. ok. got it.

Apparenty,

"Statistics" is not a required course in Journalism school. Nor does it appear that it taken as an elective by anyone working at the statesman.

Imbecile

Obviously you barely got through high school, your grammar is horrible, and don't get me started on your sentence structuring. I'm guess your name is Jethro, and you made it to the second grade.

1 times naught = naught
2 times naught = naught
3 times naught = naught
4 times naught = naught

Obviously

You are a member of the Tap Dancing Clown Chorus. Or the village idiot.

Tap dancing blah, blah, blah

You need some new material.

He needs a new NEW.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

registering Rep/

I registered Republican even though I am an Independent. I knew this was the only way for me to influence the vote for county commissioners, sheriff and our legislators. I resent having to lie in order for my vote to count. I live in Canyon County and like it or not, the Republican candidate in November will win just about all positions. The real voting takes place in May.

I persuaded a number of my friends to register Republican also in order to make their vote count.

The funny thing is that several of my very Republican friends refused to vote because they were required to declare publicly their affiliation.

Tough!

This was the REPUBLICAN primary not the independant primary and not the Libertarian primary. If after Repubicans decide on who to put up for the election you can vote then. But your so called "independance" means you don't have the right to claim to be something you are not. That makes you a liar and you agreed. So, that begs the question of what else you lie about?

Based on "her" previous posts-

Darn near everything.

Taxpayer money pays for a pure "Republican" primary?

A primary ballot closed to all except those who identify themselves as Republicans ought to be paid for by the Republican Party, not Idaho taxpayers.

A primary effectively closed to independent voters is total hogwash. When ALL voters have access to the entire ballot in November's general election, voters should make Rs pay for their arrogance.

Sounds like an addiction problem.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Crossover voting

I know one Democrat who voted Republican, but given the ratio of Republicans to Democrats in the state, I kind of suspect that every single Democrat in the state could raid the Republican primary and it wouldn't make much of a difference.

Another Lying Democrat.

They are every where. They don't have much honor do they? I guess dishonesty just comes easier to that bunch. I use Obama and his crowd as another example.

count the Rs vs. Ds

2001–2008 (George W. Bush (R) presidency)
Executive branch
• Lewis Libby (R) Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (R), 'Scooter' was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Plame Affair on March 6, 2007. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. The sentence was commuted by George W. Bush (R) on July 1, 2007. The felony remains on Libby's record though the jail time and fine were commuted.[3]
• Jack Abramoff CNMI scandal involves the efforts of Abramoff to influence Congressional action concerning U.S. immigration and minimum wage laws. See Legislative branch convictions. Within the Bush administration were:
1. David Safavian (R) GSA (General Services Administration) Chief of Staff,[4] found guilty of blocking justice and lying, [5] and sentenced to 18 months[6]
2. Roger Stillwell (R) Staff in the Department of the Interior under George W. Bush. Pleaded guilty and received two years suspended sentence. [5]
3. Susan B. Ralston (R) Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Karl Rove, resigned October 6, 2006 after it became known that she accepted gifts and passed information to her former boss Jack Abramoff.[7]
4. J. Steven Griles (R) former Deputy to the Secretary of the Interior pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 10 months.[8]
5. Italia Federici (R) staff to the Secretary of Interior, and President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, pled guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of justice. She was sentenced to four years probation.[9][10][11]
6. Jared Carpenter (R) Vice-President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, was discovered during the Abramoff investigation and pled guilty to income tax evasion. He got 45 days, plus 4 years probation.[12]
7. Mark Zachares (R) staff in the Department of Labor, bribed by Abramoff, guilty of conspiracy to defraud.
8. Robert E. Coughlin (R) Deputy Chief of Staff, Criminal Division of the Justice Department pleaded guilty to conflict of interest after accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff. (2008) [10]
• Lester Crawford (R) Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, resigned after 2 months. Pled guilty to conflict of interest and received 3 years suspended sentence and fined $90,000. (2006) [13]
• Claude Allen (R) Advisor to President Bush on Domestic Policy, Allen was arrested for a series of felony thefts in retail stores such as Target. (2006) He was convicted on one count and resigned soon after.[14]
• Sandy Berger (D) former Clinton Security Adviser pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully removing classified from the National Archives in (2005).[15]
• Bernard Kerik (R) his nomination in 2004 as Secretary of Homeland Security was derailed by past employment of an illegal alien as a nanny and other improprieties. On Nov 4, 2009 he pled quilty to two counts of tax fraud and five counts of lying to the federal government and was sentenced to fours years in prison. (2009) [16]
• Brian J. Doyle (R) Deputy Press Secretary in the United States Department of Homeland Security. Indicted for seducing a 14-year-old girl on the internet who was actually a sheriff's deputy. On November 17, 2006, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison, 10 years of probation, and was registered as a sex offender.[17]
Legislative branch
• Jack Abramoff CNMI scandal involves the efforts of Abramoff to influence Congressional action concerning U.S. immigration and minimum wage laws. See Executive branch convictions. Congressmen convicted in the Abramoff scandal include:
1. Tom DeLay (R-TX) The House Majority Leader was reprimanded twice by the House Ethics Committee and DeLay resigned 9 June 2006.[18] Delay was found to have illegally channeled funds from Americans for a Republican Majority to Republican state legislator campaigns. He was convicted of two counts of money laundering and conspiracy in 2010 and sentenced to three years.[19][20][21]
2. Michael Scanlon (R) former staff to Tom DeLay: working for Abramoff, pled guilty to bribery.
3. Tony Rudy (R) former staff to Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
4. James W. Ellis (R) executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering. [22]
5. John Colyandro (R) executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering [22]
6. Bob Ney (R-OH) pled guilty to conspiracy and making false statements as a result of his receiving trips from Abramoff in exchange for legislative favors. Ney received 30 months in prison.[23]
7. Neil Volz (R) former staff to Robert Ney, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in 2006 charges stemming from his work for Bob Ney. In 2007 he was sentenced to two years probation, 100 hours community service, and a fine of $2,000.[24]
8. William Heaton (R), former chief of staff for Bob Ney (R), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge involving a golf trip to Scotland, expensive meals, and tickets to sporting events between 2002 and 2004 as payoffs for helping Abramoff's clients.[25]
9. John Albaugh (R) former chief of staff to Ernest Istook (R-OK) pled guilty to accepting bribes connected to the Federal Highway Bill. Istook was not charged. (2008) [26][27]
10. James Hirni, (R) former staff to Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) was charged with wire fraud for giving a staffer, Don Young (R) of Alaska, a bribe in exchange for amendments to the Federal Highway Bill. (2008) [28]
11. Kevin A. Ring (R) former staff to John Doolittle (R-CA) was convicted of five charges of corruption. Doolittle was not charged. [29][30]
• Duke Cunningham (R-California) pleaded guilty on November 28, 2005 to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in what came to be called the Cunningham scandal. Sentenced to over eight years in prison.[31]
• William J. Jefferson (D-Louisiana) in August 2005 the FBI seized $90,000 in cash from Jefferson's home freezer. He was re-elected anyway, but lost in 2008. He was convicted of 11 counts of bribery and sentenced to 13 years in prison on November 13, 2009.[32] Jefferson's Chief of Staff Brett Pfeffer (D), was sentenced to 84 months for bribery. (2006) [33]
• Bill Janklow (R-South Dakota) convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. Resigned from the House and given 100 days in the county jail and three years probation. (2003)[34]
• Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) found guilty on 10 felony counts of financial corruption, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison and expelled from the House (2002) [35]
• Vito Fossella (R-New York) US Congressman convicted of drunken driving in 2008, later appealed but then pled guilty in 2009 to same charge.[36]
• Larry Craig Senator (R-Idaho) – Married Senator and critic of Clinton's affair, pled guilty to disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis airport men's room in June, after having been arrested on a charge of homosexual lewd conduct. Senator Craig had previously stated that "people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy – a naughty boy." (2007)(2007) [37]

LOL

LOL. Great pivot. However, let' stay on task. We are talking about the extremely low democrat turnout dragging down the overall turnout numbers for the primary election.

Witty, Boron Jacket

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to......

your family.

Your FIAT continues to have a radiator leak.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

I do think there was more

I do think there was more participation from certain libertarian / constitutionalist circles this year due to Ron Paul's presence in the election cycle. I also know that many centrist Republicans refused to participate out of principled opposition to the registration requirement. I know because I knocked on their doors and talked to them. Those numbers might be a wash.

No Crossover? Maybe

The prof forgets that Libertarians are not Republicans. Neither are the Constitutionalists. In fact it is safe to say none of the Ron Paul supporters are Republicans.

There are only two parties,

There are only two parties, unfortunately all other so-called third parties are forced to fall into one of two categories; and its not alwasys a good fit.

"If the claim that Democrats

"If the claim that Democrats have been raiding the GOP primary is true, then we should expect that the GOP percent of the total vote should DECLINE this year (since the Dems and unaffiliated voters would be banned from voting in the GOP primary."

Nothing like basing political analysis on false assumptions. Unlike many of the people who post comments, Professor Moncrief should know (and probably does) that the closed primary did not "ban" anyone from voting in the GOP primary. "Raiding" also seems like a poor choice of words to describe cross-over voting IMO, but it is arguably correct if you believe the cross-over voting (which we know does occur) represents an organized strategy by Democrats.

I have never believed the Idaho Democrat Party has that kind of capability or stealth to organize a "raid" on the GOP primary. Democrats and Independents have been voting in the GOP primary for 50 yeara or longer, because the GOP has the only game in town (contested races) on primary election day. The GOP primary provides electoral therapy for disenfranchised Democrats and Independents who don't otherwise have a horse to bet on, but whether they turn out in sufficient numbers to influence the GOP nomination is pure speculation since primary voters still have a secret ballot when it comes to the individual candidates. Obviosuly, they could make a difference in a close contest, but there is no way to determine whether the decisive votes were cast by Republicans, Democrats, or Independents - nor does this matter to the victorous candidates.

I also question why Professor Moncrief wasted his time calculating voter turnout based on census population figures. Patience, Moncrief! You only had to wait 12 days to obtain the more meaningful voter registration figures, but even then there will only be so much that we can learn from raw numbers. For example, how many Democrats, Independents and Libertarians registered as Republicans earlier this year in order to participate in the GOP presidential caucus? There is simply no way of knowing this with any statistical accuracy.

Statistics are always more entertaining than they are informative, but a political science professor should strive to collect data that is at least somewhat useful and not misleading.

Spot on!

Excellent summary.

TITCR. A+.

TITCR. A+.

"GOP closed primary failed

"GOP closed primary failed to stop crossover voting, if it was occurring at all"

and I failed to stop and get gas if I needed any at all.

What the he ll? Popkey is losing it.

no crossover to GOP? Low democrat votes?

So democrats just didn't vote at all? Now there's the story! How sad for the Democrat Chairman.

Why vote now for a Republican when you dilute your punch?

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

reply

I agree with Bytheway that I shouldn't have included the turnout as a percent of population figures; they really had nothing to do with the central point. But I was curious what the figures would look like (since we don't have registration figures for 2012 yet). Nonetheless, those figures aren't important to the point I was making, and should have been excluded.
The point I was making is this: a number of people who advocated for closing the Republican primary argued that there was significant crossover voting (a.k.a. raiding--organized or not). But there is no evidence of substantial crossover voting beyond anecdotal evidence. I do not recall any such evidence from Idaho being presented at the trial. It was, however an ASSUMPTION made by some of the people who wanted to close the primary and one of the reasons given in support of closing the primary. I am saying that if that assumption was true, we should anticipate a decline in Republican vote share in the 2012 primary and that did not happen, at least not with the data I showed.
By the way, please note I am not advocating one way or another what the GOP should do with its primary. I have long stated that the party has the right to close its primary if it so chooses. I just think its a bad idea in the long run--especially if it was done because of a concern that crossover voting was effecting the outcomes.

but the debate is whether

turnout is increased or decreased. So Professor, is it the case that GOP turnout is up, but because democrat turnout is so low, that brings down the overall numbers for a net decrease as the secretary of state suggests? If so, why is the story about the closed primary being the cause of low turnout rather than the democrats simply not turning out?